Author Topic: Are there really lighted track bumpers?  (Read 1825 times)

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mmagliaro

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Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« on: April 21, 2021, 07:25:17 PM »
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In the process of putting in an engine storage siding, on a spring switch.  I will be able to kill the power on this siding (this is DC not DCC).
It seemed like it would be handy to know that power is enabled to the siding, just so I don't forget one day and have the engine take off out through the spring switch onto the main.  (since it's a spring switch, I can't just depend on turnout power routing to kill the siding)

A tiny LED at the end of the siding, perhaps in the bumper, would be useful, but I have never seen such a thing in real life, and I doubt it exists outside of maybe lights at the end of track inside passenger stations.  (Never mind the quizzical, comical Atlas "lighted bumper" from days
of old).

Any cheap prototype excuse to put the LED in there?  Are there any sidings where they put a warning light at the end outside of stations?

peteski

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2021, 07:30:53 PM »
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In the process of putting in an engine storage siding, on a spring switch.  I will be able to kill the power on this siding (this is DC not DCC).
It seemed like it would be handy to know that power is enabled to the siding, just so I don't forget one day and have the engine take off out through the spring switch onto the main.  (since it's a spring switch, I can't just depend on turnout power routing to kill the siding)

A tiny LED at the end of the siding, perhaps in the bumper, would be useful, but I have never seen such a thing in real life, and I doubt it exists outside of maybe lights at the end of track inside passenger stations.  (Never mind the quizzical, comical Atlas "lighted bumper" from days
of old).

Any cheap prototype excuse to put the LED in there?  Are there any sidings where they put a warning light at the end outside of stations?

Regardless of the prototype, I propose exercising your modeler's license.   ;)
You could even just illuminate a 0.020" fiber optic installed flush with the ground.
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Maletrain

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2021, 07:50:41 PM »
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I guess the idea of putting the indicator light on a control panel doesn't do the job, for some reason.  Perhaps needing to see the indicator from many locations.

I can't think of any lighted track end devices.  And, I guess you want a light that does not look out of place during daylight hours.  So, all I can think of is something like traffic control lights.  An engine storage siding does not seem like a place that would have a miniature signal, but I guess you could use a bit of modeler's license to put one there, anyway.  But, perhaps having the signal visible to a scale engineer might not make it visible to the places you want an operator to be able to see it.

The only other things I can think of are (1) a crossing gate that comes down for a road that crosses the storage siding when it is powered, or maybe just an automobile traffic signal located on a road near the siding that has a green visible when the siding is powered.  Or, maybe a lighted sign in a nearby shop window that says something like "Open" when the track is powered?  OK, I'm out.  But maybe somebody else has more imagination.


mmagliaro

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2021, 08:08:51 PM »
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As for control panel, there really is no "control panel".  I tried to build everything on this layout so that all the tracks work by power routing, are easily reachable from the benchwork edge, and the only "panel" controls would be main power on, and speed/direction control of a throttle.  There is no need for any turnout controls or track diagrams, etc, and I'd rather not resort to that if I can help it.

I like the idea of lighting up some other scenic element nearby as a hint to me that the track is "on".  I never considered that!

wvgca

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2021, 08:13:15 PM »
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sure there are lit track bumpers  ... but if memory serves, they are pretty ugly ...
you can probably make better ones yourself, leds are small and increasingly popular nowadays

peteski

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2021, 08:20:17 PM »
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sure there are lit track bumpers  ... but if memory serves, they are pretty ugly ...
you can probably make better ones yourself, leds are small and increasingly popular nowadays

I believe Max meant lit 1:1 or prototype bumpers, not the N scale toy bumpers.
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Cajonpassfan

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2021, 08:26:07 PM »
+1
Lol Max, I’m thinking the lighted bumper is a bit lame, except maybe in a big city terminal. How about a light fixture on an adjacent shanty or light pole or even an indoor light? People leave lights on all the time in daylight...and there were no light sensors then...
Otto

wazzou

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2021, 09:34:34 PM »
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Lol Max, I’m thinking the lighted bumper is a bit lame, except maybe in a big city terminal. How about a light fixture on an adjacent shanty or light pole or even an indoor light? People leave lights on all the time in daylight...and there were no light sensors then...
Otto



^^^ This.
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Point353

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2021, 09:44:14 PM »
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peteski

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2021, 10:01:49 PM »
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That looks very European (like the pair of pads where the buffers would bump, not a center pad for the knuckle coupler).
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Rivet Miscounter

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2021, 11:57:03 PM »
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My vote would just be a pole-mounted vapor light (like WS makes) as your indicator.   For whatever reason, those things can be completely out in the middle of nowhere, no rhyme nor reason to their existence.  (sometimes as a result of a temporary structure no longer there I guess)
Doug

nkalanaga

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2021, 01:44:05 AM »
+1
A small blue LED, on a short post, at the clearance point.  When the power is OFF, the LED is ON, indicating that someone is working there, and the track shouldn't be disturbed.  If the LED is OFF, the track is live, so be careful.

The prototype uses blue flags/lights for the same purpose, so it shouldn't raise any eyebrows.

Use a DPDT switch to control the power.  One pole would control one rail, and the other pole the LED.
N Kalanaga
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keeper

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2021, 04:11:06 AM »
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That sure looks like somewhere in the UK.

Thomas
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 04:14:31 AM by keeper »
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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2021, 09:14:06 AM »
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Max, what about a blue flag?

Those are often lit.

Modern day ones are blue battery lanterns, but I'm sure you could do a nice flickering lantern kinda thing.

NtheBasement

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Re: Are there really lighted track bumpers?
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2021, 09:56:27 AM »
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You mention DC.  Will the light run off track power (problem), or off a separate power supply via a DPDT (no problem)?